Prev: Day 3: Amarillo to Albuquerque and Karens Cactus Adventure
Next: Day 5: Staying put in Sky City, NM
10/13/2007: Day 4: Early day in Albuquerque to short drive to Acoma
Here's an overview map, but it's not very interesting:
Trip overview from Saint Louis to Acoma, New Mexico cropped from maps.Google.com
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture Day4Map1

We got up at 5:15, made in-room coffee, and headed out at 6:00. We drove quickly the first 5 miles toward the Balloon Fiesta Park. The last couple of miles were stop-and-creep with 4 lanes of access road redirected to flow toward balloon parking. There was one test balloon up, periodically glowing yellow in the dark sky. Some balloons were already up when we parked at 6:45. But we watched the next few hundred rise. And the sun, too.
If you are tired of balloon pictures (like from my pictures of the Great Forest Park Balloon Race), you still may enjoy these with my captions. This is 10 times the balloon event as the one back home (literally, 750 vs. 75).
Much to her amazement, Karen took some of the best shots. The ones she took are noted (and they are BILD series (the German word for picture) as opposed to my P1040's)
Stuck in traffic in Albuquerque at 6:30 in the morning, unlike those guys up there. Note the one balloon glowing.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040710
Sunrise from the parking lot. The sky begins to glow.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040720
Dan and the fence around the balloon grounds in the groggy morning.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture BILD0310
Early Risers as seen on the walk toward the entrance to the Balloon Fiesta field
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040721
The downwind end of the balloon field with concessionaire tents.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040723
Glowing balloon and sky, other bags are roaring to roundness
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040726
Lighthouse lays down. The hills are starting to catch the sun
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040734
Choosing up sides?
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040736
Vertical and horizontal fire in nylon bags
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040741
Barnyard shenanigans overhead. Got an umbrella?
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040746
The first balloons reach up to the sun
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040747
She looks relieved. Gas? This balloon is actually an angel, with wigs sticking out the back.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040754
Ladybug aloft
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040756
Having a good autumn, but not a great fall!
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040760
Parking lot as full as the sky
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040767
The only way to travel, but where's the horse?
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040769
Ahrgh, matey!
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040776
Yes, pigs fly.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040777
These kids kept staring up, open mouthed, twirling, and squealing with joy. No one minds. Behind our adult reserve, we all are!The sun is blocked by Dan-fingers to allow this shot.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040780
Lighthouse aloft. You saw it half-flat on the ground several pictures back.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040782
Close dancing bees (pic by Karen)
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture BILD0348
Crowded skys around Smokey the Bear (arguably the cause of our national wildfire problems).Pic by KJ
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture BILD0350
Dancing bees about to part ways
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040785
Hundreds of Balloons over the parking lot
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040797
Balloon launching is not effortless
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040801
Another view of the puller, holding a balloon approximately still as it fills.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040802
Karen (second from the left) taking pictures. Trader Joe's passes her by. Notice how she likes the cliff edge?
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040809
Pullers come in close as buoyancy rises
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040812
Balloons against the mountains
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040813
A nice overview of the festival by Karen
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture BILD0355
Photographers on the ridge at the north end of the field. Note the long shadow of the kneeling photographer in the foreground.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040817
Karen shoots for the sky
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040826
Unknown photographer ignores the big house
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040835
Nice use of fractals passing overhead. One is heating and the other cooling as they try to stay together.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040840
Photographers and observers and a goofy balloon
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040843
Karen takes another picture, wearing the hat she got for free on our honeymoon. This hat was lost this day. Very sad.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040844
Karen shot this cat and elephant pair
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture BILD0382
Honda advertises its innovation via the Asimo robot, named for Asimov, the author. Another of Karen's shots that I preferred to my own.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture BILD0389
As that brick passed overhead, the crowd cheered. No one will catch this crowd flagging in its patriotic spirit.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040847
Inverted pyramid balloon. There's always something different.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040853
These blow-hards are not fans of mine. They blew right past me.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040860
Karen and the shadow of her husband shoot balloons.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040865
Wacky tree was a latecomer.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040872
Chainsaw art was a major part of this festival. Guess who was a major sponsor?
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040877

Whew! We got back to the hotel exhausted.
Our Albuquerque hotel on Route 66. This Econolodge was quite nice.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040878

We packed up and got out by noon, our extended checkout deadline. We had lunch in the Old Town. Mexican food. Karen's aches from her fall were acting up, and I was surly and tired. But we walked around a bit.
We spent some time and had lunch in the Old Town. I was impressed by this use of a laminated beam as a power-pole. There probably are no more lodgepole pines in this area for this use.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040879
Karen will chat with anybody
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040880
Checking her Nike's?
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040882
Sculptures of different eras
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040883

Finally, we hit the road and decided to stop at the Acoma Pueblo and get some rest. We had a nap before unloading the car! Karen never naps; that's how tired we were.
I spent a couple of hour writing up the Third day, and then we turned in.
View from our room in the Indian Casino at the Acoma Pueblo
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040888
View of our room at the Acoma Casino
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture P1040893

Day 5 began with my spending three hours sifting through the massive amount of pictures, and presenting Day 4. Maybe I don't understand the idea of a vacation.

Next: Day 5: Staying put in Sky City, NM

Back to the List of Days
Back to the List of Trips